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Abstracts are purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of skills, including concise yet thorough description and analysis, and informed library research.
The following example uses the APA format for the journal citation:
Goldschneider, F. K., Waite, L. J., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51(4), 541-554.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
The Librarians at the Pace University Library wish to thank Michael Engle and the Librarians of the Reference Services Division of the Olin-Krock-Uris Libraries at Cornell University for granting us permission to adapt their "How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography" for use by the Pace University Community. Any errors within these pages are ours alone.